How I Make Them Fly
Death is death.
“Because it’s the way it should be.”
Altering fate is Radix’s game. Not ours.
After giving him a quizzical look which said she didn’t understand, she averted her attention back to the downy fluff in her hand. Breathing, “It’s so beautiful.”
“We must let it go find its family. They’re no doubt worried. Much as yours likely is.”
Her shoulders slumped as she lowered the animal. Bottom lip quaking. “No one worries for me, Alazar.”
Sensing her truth, he quieted. Why wouldn’t they be?
The animal burst into movement. Leaping from her hand into the air toward his right.
He reflexively caught it in the air in a motion so quick she hadn’t seen it. He hesitantly handed it back to her, relenting. “You may hold him awhile. If you are kind.”
She nodded emphatically. Lifting her palms to take it as though it were precious glass. Stroking it lovingly.
After a moment she frowned. “How’d you know my name?”
He considered telling her she’d already told him. I can’t lie to her again. Something twisted in him at the thought.
Let her be the one person I don’t have to lie to.
“Sometimes...I just know things.”
Too many damn things.
She spoke softly to the squirrel, gingerly running her hand over its back until it calmed and lowered to its belly. Relaxing in her lap.
“You love animals.”
She beamed up at him. “Oh yes. Much better than people.”
“You’re a princess. One day you’ll have people.” He choked on laughter.
“How’d you know that?” Her brow furrowed.
When he only blinked at her in answer, she remarked. “Oh yes…” She breathed. “I suppose I should learn to like them.”
“You’ll be a fine queen one day.” He patted her back roughly, attempting comfort but nearly knocking her over. His eyes widened when she abruptly leaned into his shoulder.
He didn’t move. Sitting there stiffly with his hands in his lap while she craned sideways against him. She’s no idea what I am.
He stared at the creature in her palm.
“What do you think he thinks?” She asked abruptly.
He floundered a moment. “I imagine he’s grateful you aren’t eating him.”
She laughed a little. “I think he’d thank us, if he could talk.”
“Perhaps. Or he’d tell us to stay away from his grove in the first place.”
They debated awhile.
“I’m glad you’re my friend Alazar. I needed one.” She uttered.
“Me too.” He reached to pet the squirrel.
It’d been six days and Alazareth believed it was safe to return to the wake as the sun was just rising. Without being ambushed by a tearful little child.
She won’t be up this early. He reassured himself. That’s why he’d come at dawn.
I was here. And I kept my word. But I’ll be long gone by the time she gets here.
He sat on the flat terrain, near the Wake. Further from the boulders surrounding the small waterfall. Emerging from uphill. Where the boulders got bigger and the trees were more knotted together.
Where she was the first day.
Down here their sparser. The water is calmer. He picked up a rounded rock and flung it. Watching thoughtfully as it hopped across the surface.
But much to his chagrin, she emerged.
“What-what is that?” She approached frantically looking from him to the ripples on the water. Startling him with her urgency. “How are you doing that?”
“What?” He blinked at her. Frowning as she approached.
What are you doing out this early? Who’s supposed to be watching you? Do they not pay any attention?
“Making them fly! How do you make the rocks fly over the water like that?” She demanded.
“They’re not flying. They’re just skipping.”
“Show me!” She ordered. Plopping onto her rear and holding out a hand for a rock.
He looked at her askance a moment before relenting. Fine.
He slapped a flat stone into her waiting palm.
A few hours later found Riaura perfecting the skill.
An apt pupil. He thought, impressed.
Giggling wildly, she threw one rock after another. Barely waiting for the last to sink before the next toss.
Alazar glanced up and saw it was nearly noon. I need to get back to the stronghold.
He told her as much. “I must go. There’s alot I’ve to do.”
“Come back tomorrow? The same time?” She pleaded.
No! I’ve no time for this.
He shook his head. “I cannot.”
“Please. Please!” Her eyes began to well and he looked away, nose wrinkling.
Always crying! He groaned to himself.